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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Albert Cirera / Abdul Moimême / Alvaro Rosso - Dissection Room (Creative Sources, 2018) ****

By Eyal Hareuveni

The Lisbon-based trio of Catalan sax player Albert Cirera, Portuguese prepared electric guitar player Abdul Moimême and Uruguayan double bass player Alvaro Rosso, also known as the AAA Trio, was established in 2015. The debut album of this trio was recorded live at the experimental space of Lisbon, O'Culto da Ajuda, on December 2017.

The title Dissection Room already suggests the approach of these fearless improvisers - a methodical exploration, deconstruction and reconstruction of various extended techniques, never surrendering to the known and the familiar. Cirera, Moimême and Rosso are seated and each on his own highly independent way investigates the uncharted, topographical organs of this free-improvised body of music. This kind of Frankenstein, mad sonic scientists approach promises an uncompromising, demanding and often otherworldly journey. But, somehow, as Stuart Broomer comments in his insightful liner notes (the notes are titled after John Dryden’s poem “A Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day”, the patroness of musicians), throughout the fragile and reserved interplay Cirera, Moimême and Rosso still communicate and weave a “shroud of harmonics, a transparent veil through which one another’s activities pass discreetly”.

Cirera, Moimême and Rosso use different kinds of objects to alter and expand the sonic range of their instruments. Cirera injects objects into the bells of his tenor and soprano saxes and sketches fractured, percussive patterns, He also employs extended breathing techniques that introduce electric-ethereal drones. The prepared guitar of Moimême has nothing common with an electric guitar. It becomes an imaginative sonic lab with a vulnerable and tangible resonating entity. The extended bowing techniques of Rosso dig tortured sounds, and more tortured overtones and cries from the double bass, transforming it to an instrument with a seductive, human voice. Mid-piece, around the 28-minute mark, as Broomer adds, something happens, a sudden blackout, and the interplay instantly shifts to a nervous and urgent mode. From this moment on Cirera, Moimême and Rosso begin to build the climax, injecting more bizarre components, confront wild hallucinations and struggle with frightening colors and shades of this Frankenstein body of music.

But when you dive deeper and deeper into this music, allowing your ears to grow to it, you may realize that this kind of Frankenstein music is highly addictive.